Writing Classes March 18, 2020 Carol Brennan King

Welcome to Class, well, joint class for both Nonfiction and Fiction Classes.

Just because we may be miles apart and in a world very different from the one in which we met last week does not mean we must stop writing or learning. So let’s think about what we can do to continue learning.

First, if you are at all like me, this week has been one filled with lots of kinds of feelings.

Sit still for a moment, then think through all of the competing feelings that may have run through your mind or heart. Fear maybe, anger?

Surprise? Sadness? Frustration? Indignation? Stressed? Or gratitude for what you have? Or hope, because of the country in which you live and the plans being made for coping with the challenges we are facing.

I read a facebook post filled with “hatred for humans” because the writer could not find the medicine her handicapped child needed. And I could understand her pain. I could imagine what I might feel, boxed in by events not of my choosing and which hurt my innocent child.

So, let’s not waste all of this emotion. Now that I read that, it sounds rather heartless. But we have all been feeling a lot of new things. Sometimes it is hard to write scenes where our character has to feel something, But it remains to us to must write that scene in a way to show those emotions. Our readers must feel it.

The Exercise: :he question is how have you shown or handled your emotion. Write it down as though you are describing someone else feeling what you just felt or did in the last few days.

For instance:

She went to bed that night muttering to the face in the bathroom mirror, “It feels as though someone hit me here hard right in my gut stomach.” The face in the mirror stared back as she continued, “or whatever is in there,” and she patted her belly. Not sure if she was going to throw up or not, she looked back into the image in the mirror. “I am not brushing my teeth tonight,” unsure of whether the toothpaste would bring up the scraps of her supper or if she was just saying something she could control. She turned the light off and climbed into bed.

She picked up her Bible, flipped it open but somehow couldn’t make out the words. Visions of all the possibilities before her like getting sick with the virus or something else, like running out of food, like running out of medicine and standing in line for it at CVS behind someone coughing their guts out – they all fought for space in her head.

She slammed the Bible shut and rehearsed Bible verses she had long ago memorized about God loving her and how He would never leave her nor forsake her.

Then it was the pantry that yelled at her – how long could they live out of what was in there. And what if the stuff she ordered from Amazon never came? She rolled over and then it was her husband that distracted her. Not his hands but how helpless she felt to protect him.

They used to joke about it was his job to take care of outside the house and hers to take care of inside the house. At that, she whispered into the darkness, “Now we can’t go outside of the house and I don’t know how good of a job I have done to take care of inside the house so we can survive.”

At that she sat up, clicked the lamp on and said, “Shut up. You choose how you are going to react. So what’s it going to be – the biblical truth you hung onto for decades or this situation and giving into panic?”

Do you see what I mean? Think about your situation and write around 100 to 150 words for this scene, only write it in the third person.

Let it sit a while, then read it out loud as though you were in class. And edit it, making it better, showing your emotion more clearly.

Then write what you have learned doing this exercise. And if you want to run it my way, feel free to.

See you next week, or is that see you here next week?

Thanks to pricelessparenting.blogspot.com for the feelings emoticon

2 thoughts on “Writing Classes March 18, 2020 Carol Brennan King

  1. Thank you for helping us and our journey to become better writers. I look forward to your writings and enjoy them totally. I will send you several Practice pieces for review. Please feel free to add your comments.


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